Saturday, 9 July 2011


Sorry for the dismal lack of new goodies on the blog of late, this solely being due to me starting a new teaching post which is taking just about all my time at the moment. However will be making amends in a couple of weeks, with shots of the US fleet in it's entirety and some start off shots of the Japanese carrier under construction.

Will also put up as a step by step tutorial on the bases.

Anyway till then all the best guys.


Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Terrain Tips

Cheers Russel for the kind comments and feedback, always welcome :-), regarding the terrain the overall aim was to create a flexible piece of multi use boards as opposed to a static scenic effect. The boards themselves are 18 mm MDF, being based in UK I bought these at B&Q, who will cut the boards to size on the spot for you bless em!. So i went for 2 ft by 3 ft purely based on what fits in the back of the car.... oh the precision of it  all!, yes the board are a wee bit on the heavy size as opposed to say 12 or 6 mm thick, but i was going on the assumption that the extra weight would avoid any warping later on and most importantly that they wouldn't budge or tip with people leaning on them. Sure enough the boards worked fine on both accounts at salute.

We looked at a lot of possible alternatives for sea boards but in the end budget was the governing factor, there are some outstanding products out there and hats off to the quality involved but we simply didn't have the budget for the scale of game we envisaged. So...."Blue Peter" time...... not exactly sticky backed plastic... but almost.

MDF board, pasted over in a 50/ 50 mix of water and PVA glue, you can use just PVA but I find it works better diluted in this case. Then  I use crumpled up thermal blanket, the type used by runners, I bought  load for a pound each off  eBay, simply paste this onto the board with a second coat of PVA / water mix on top and allow to set. two coats of Metal/ Wood general household primer and it should all be sealed in and well bonded ready for painting. On the boards we used household emulsion, again all from B&Q.

The islands were made using 3 mm ply, however warping has been a problem, so if I were to do it again I would be looking at some form of plastic/ acrylic sheet to get around this. the next stage involves using rolled up newspaper to form the folds of the terrain and simply using Parcel tape to secure it all down to the board, the beauty of this system is it is dry with no water, so cutting back hugely on time and mess. With the islands I wanted to go for a pacific theme so the volcanic mountain peaks are simply discarded tree stumps from nearby woods shaped and glued down, again a coat of primer and then painted with emulsion....

highly recommend the tester pots of the Lawrence  Llewellyn Bowen range....

Pearly Princess, Hunky Bunker, Fluffy Bunny, Pinch of Posh and Choco Chick Lit...... yes the names are real.

Hope this has all been of help... hoping to ad a tutorial or two with photo's in the near future as soon as i get time . Cheers Russel and good luck with the demo in New Zealand.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Trouble at mill

We seem to be having teething problems with the blog, not aided in any way by my own complete inability to grasp anything involving a keyboard!,  will be attempting to bring back the list of  followers ( sorry guys), as well as working out how to post replies to comments. Thanks for the kind comments guys all very much appreciated. John, in reply the rules we are using are the "Aeronef" rules available from Brigade models in a PDF format

The rules themselves are an excellent introduction to the genre as well as forming the basis of a fun game with huge potential; we are in fact in the process of looking at ways of tweaking certain elements prior to running the demo game again later in the year.

On the modeling front, Lexington, Sarratoga and Yorktown are at last nearing completion, and will be up on the blog in the next week or so, then it's onto the Kaga and Akagi..

Hope this helps John


Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Following the rush of Salute, the dock hands at the slips have been having a bit of a break to date, however so far USS Olympia, the US destroyers and the Pathfinder Digs are all being rigged so hopefully pics soon for these.

Next up is completing the US escort carriers, Lexington, Sarratoga and Yorktown, then it's onto USS Enterprise, this is hopefully going to be something special and will be the centre piece of the fleet, rounding it off. So as with the Japanese Carriers I'm thinking of using an existing 1/700 model as a starting point and then kit bashing with additional parts to give it a retro nef feel.

At the moment thinking of using something like the Hosho, which was Japan's first carrier and does'nt look too avante garde. My personal view of Aeronef sees Japan as the fore runner in design, with efficient, huge designs, possible due to enormous r-matter reserves in Manchuria and China, hence the potential scale of her carriers. America, conversely is rapidly seeking resources so her carriers have to be much simpler. I'll hopefully be looking at scenarios around this, looking at ideas for the little known second Spanish American war, and the US - Chile clash of the early 1900's.

Anyway, not too much news at the mo, as life and work seem to be taking up all my time at the moment, so all the best for now.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Salute Phot's (3) - Dewey's Pride and Joy!

Here she is, the USS Langley, America's first attempt at Carrier design, an escort class carrier she representrs America's first steps in evolving carrier borne support for the fleet. With a limited capacity of 1 Squadron of P24 Pursuit fighters she lacks punch. Lexington, Yorktown and Sarratoga are on the workbench, and i'm hoping to work on America's Super Carrier Enterprise over ther next few months which will give them a bomber capacity....

Anway here she is, Dewey's pride and joy, "The Flat top wagon" - USS Langley

Front on and looking mean....any similarity to a certain graceful lady by the name of Galactica, is as they say....purely coincidental!!!

Here she is from above, colour scheme is based on a combination of the Great White Fleet colours, and authentic  Naval Air markings for the early 20's

Detail shot showing the aircraft, here I used Dom's Decals for the roundels and I carn't recomend them highly enougth, they are superb and really make the models as well as taking a lot of the hassle out of the painting.

Again side on shot of the aircraft....

For those interested in how it all went together, the core of the carrier is the Russian Aeronef Tender from Brigade Models used for the hull and the lower work deck, this is then built up with Plasticard, as are the tail fins. One of the Brigade Models Bombers was added from their generic range to indicate a an Observer plane capacity. Langley is an Escort Carrier class, small with a relativly limited range, she carries no Bombers at this time, being restricted to a single Pursuit Fighter Squadron.

The Introduction of the later Enterprise class will provide the Great White Fleet with airborne torpedo capacity, but that's for another day......

Anway back to the build, the upper Flight deck is made up of several layers of standard and embossed plasticard from 4D Models, with brass rod added to represent torpedo netting. The airbags are W H Smith Illumo markers painted up with some 1-48th scale US Early Pacific War roundels from Hannants model supplies, available over the internet. Side gun barbettes and funnels all bits and pices from the Brigade range. A tougth one to build but well worth it, i think, hope you enjoy, comments and suggestions always welcome.

Cheers Guys

Salute Photo's (2) - The Imperial Japanese Navy

Here are a few extra shots of the Japanese fleet to balance out the earlier US shots, yhis is the Mikasa Super Dreadnought, Admiral Togo's Flagship, yet to be rigged, but it represents state of the art Japanese Dreadnought design.

This shot shows the effect of rigging using thread cotton, as mentioned previously, i was really trying to emulate Rod Langton's amazing modeling when doing this and i think the effect adds to the ships.Rigging along the side is to represent torpedo nets, and again adds toi the overall feel of efficiency I wanted to convey with the Japanese models. Stripes along tail indicate class, 4= Battleship/ Dreadnought.

My own personal favourite amogst the Japanese models, the Light Cruisers, work horses of the fleet and the eyes and ears of the fleet. Searchlight just visable above the wheelhouse is a superdetailing extra from, an outstanding service supplying all sorts of bits and pieces that help to add a little extra to the models.Small boats are from the Revell QE2 kit, 20 boats at £5.00, again add as little extra something. 

Here we have a line astern shot of the Japanese Battle line as they bring the big guns to bear.....

Still more to add to this force, a couple more light Cruiser squadrons and then the Super Carriers Kaga and Akagi..

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Salute Photo's

Here are the first of a series of photo's generously donated by Alan Daniels and Dominic Hutton, cheers guys, of the Salute Game, i'll be adding them to the blog over the next week, but hop-e you enjoy!

First up the rather Flash Gordonesque Zurich Class Dig Cruiser, far too sexy for the Swiss, so here it is in the colours of the US Pathfinder squadron. For those interested in such trivia the original designer of this craft was sequested from Switzerland by the long arm of thePBI ( Pinkerton Bureau of Investigations), provided with a new false identity as a slug juggeling artist in the Hollywood Hills under the name of Mr C Chaplin!, and set to work on the next generation of US nef.

Lethally fast these ships are armed with Samuel Colt's patented Torpedo revolver device and are the eyes of the Fleet.

This the elderly but much vaunted USS Maine, Flagship of the Picket Squadron commanded by Commodore Lewis Armistead II, representing as she does post ACW Nef design she hails from a bygone age, however  with her turret mounted 13 inch Armstrong muzzle loading Naval rifles she still packs a punch. Commanded by Armistead, a true patriot of the Southern Cause, with her band playing Dixie, she was last seen firing to the last amidst the Japanes naval line, the "stars and bars" still flying proudly from her mast, her crwe crying "One last time boys, for old Bobbie Lee!" ( This model still reqires rigging)

Supporting the USS Maine are the Michigan Light Cruisers, converted with extended stacks and boilers for long distance patrol, these are the predecessors of the Pathfinder Digs above, again due to their age, they did'nt stand up to the might of the newer Japanese classes of Nef.

Aagain many thanks to the talented photography of Alan and Dominic, hope the macro lens has'nt shown up too much of the dodgy paintwork The game is very much a work in progress as are these models, most of them require rigging to be fully completed.

I would like to take this opportunity to honour a true master of the art and "Godfather" of naval gaming in Rod Langton, having admired his models and craftsmanship for many years, his Napoleonic ships are things of wonder and he wasa major inspiration in this project, the aim being to "do a Langton" on the Pre Dread Nefs, so hats off to you sir and a big thanks!

What's in a Name?

First of all hello again and just to say the blog will be up and running from now on, with hopefully a full set of photo's of all the models used in the recent "Damn the Torpedo's " game at Salute this weekend as well as some how to do articles on superdetailing the models and making the scenery. A very big thanks to my fellow League of Gentlemen who made the trip down from Liverepool fore the event. Yes we were all sticking stands together at 3am on Saturday, but you have to love the smell of epoxy resin in the morning!;-)

A big thanks to John, Paul, Barry and Lenny, medals with clasp all round gentlemen, and large brandy's for all...

Salute was fantastic and we never anticipated such a huge postive response from everyone, Aeronef is a niche interest after all, however your comments and support were very much appreciated, although apologies if I came across somewhat hazy by midday, by then sleep deprivation was really kicking in! We are hoping to present the game and develop it further throughout the year, if you want to catch up and have a look you are more than welcome. Although we did'nt originally intend to present the game as a participation affair, in the end the interest amongst younger audience members was too great, and we were'nt going to say no!.

All the young Admirals performed brilliantly and put us to shame, particually the young gentleman who rolled six's to order and promptly sank everything in sight, before anouncing he was'nt having any more of this and was going to ram!!!!.....We salute you sir, Nelson would be proud.

A few people enquired to the  group's name and where it originates, Arbuthnot was a Naval Commander at the time of Jutland, something of an all rounder, he was renowned for his pugilistic skills, once taking on a trio of sailors when docked abroad, soundly administring a thrashing to all!!!, as well as being the only Navy Commander to date in the Royal Navy to succesfully complete three full turns on the paralell bars. Well known throughout the navy for his desire to have a crack at the Hun, he managed to loose his squadron in minutes at Jutland through his eagerness. All in all quite a character and "top" chap!, apart from loosing the ships that is.........

So now the mist has passed and have cought up with the sleep, Salute was a fantastic experience and we hope to make the game bigger and better throughout the Year, The dastardly Brits will hopefully be making a squadron strength show with a couple of battlecruisers....unfinished business from 1812 don't you know, and the gallent French in form of L' Escadrille La Fayette will be assisting their American cousins. Meanwhile the Japanese will be equally reinforced in the form of a trio of super carriers.....lots still to do

Cheers for now